Sunday, June 01, 2008

The System is Broken

CNN reports today that after the results from Puerto Rico are tallied, Hillary Clinton will have more of the popular vote than Barack Obama. If Obama wins the general election, he will be the second consecutive President who takes office despite another candidate winning the popular vote.

We can all see how well the first one worked out.

The Electoral College system is a dinosaur. It was designed for times when there was no direct communication between states, let alone instant communication all over the world. It was for a time when a local man in a small town had to get up in the town square and say "This man Thomas Jefferson is a great man! Vote for me to ride my horse to Philadelphia and represent Smithtown's interest in Thomas Jefferson!"

That man was called a delegate, and he clearly isn't needed any more. It's time for America to have a true democracy where everyone's vote counts. We can rebuild it. We have the technology.


James said...

I've heard a lot of people dispute the idea that Hillary is leading the popular vote for the nomination.

As the New Yorker says,

"In a nominating process, especially this one, the “popular vote” is an elusive phenomenon., an independent Web site whose numbers political reporters and operatives tend to trust, maintains six separate tallies. At the moment, Obama leads in four of them. With or without participants in the caucus states of Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and Washington (i.e., states where voters’ preferences were expressed by gathering in corners and the like, and whose numbers can be estimated but are not pinpointed), and with the totals for both Florida (whose primary was unsanctioned by the Democratic Party, with the consent of all the candidates, and where no one campaigned) and Michigan (also unsanctioned, and where Obama’s name was not even on the ballot), Clinton’s claim that more people have “voted” for her is factual. But her claim to be “ahead” depends entirely on a tally for the Michigan primary that is distinctly North Korean: Clinton, 328,309; Obama, 0. However, if the bulk of the 238,168 Michiganders who voted “uncommitted” are assumed to have been Obama supporters—a reasonable assumption—then Obama leads by every possible reckoning. And if only Florida is included, then Obama leads whether or not those four caucuses are counted."

Craig Berger said...

While these types of numbers are inevitably fuzzy, the New Yorker artcle does not take into account Puerto Rican voters, who supported Clinton in large numbers. This also does not change the fact that the Electoral College system is obsolete.